How to Detoxify Your Life: 5 Tips for a Safe, Chemical-Free Household

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From car exhaust to the chemicals used on lawns, toxins are just about everywhere. While you can’t eliminate all of the harmful substances you’re exposed to, you do have control over the products in your home–and the foods you consume. 

Read on to learn how to detoxify your life with these five tips for a safer, more chemical-free home.

5 Tips for a chemical-free house

1. Cook with safe pots and pans.

That non-stick pan might be your go-to in the kitchen, but it could pose health risks over time.

Frequent use of non-stick cookware can lead to scratches in the coating. When this happens, tiny bits of the chemical-laden coating may flake off and get into your food. 

Studies have shown that even a single scratch on a Teflon-coated non-stick pan can release as many as 9,100 plastic particles. And these plastics have been linked to higher chances of developing serious health issues, including

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disease

What’s more, exposing non-stick pans to high temperatures–especially when empty–can cause the coating to break down, releasing harmful fumes into your home (and lungs).

For a healthier, chemical-free kitchen, opt for cookware made of:

  • Cast iron
  • Stainless steel
  • Ceramic
  • Granite

These pans may not have the same slick qualities you love when you’re cooking things like eggs, but with the right amount of oil, they’re just as effective. Plus, when you season a cast iron pan correctly, it becomes relatively non-stick. 

To season cast iron cookware, you can oil it and either place it facing down in a preheated oven at 350°F (177°C) for an hour, or heat it on the stove until it smokes. 

This process forms a natural non-stick layer that enhances ease of use while avoiding health concerns associated with non-stick cookware.

2. Switch out toxic cleaning products.

You don’t need strong, potentially carcinogenic chemicals like bleach to enjoy a clean home. With the right natural products, you can keep your living space just as fresh–and much safer.

Take vinegar, for instance. This kitchen staple is also a powerful cleaner with natural germ-fighting properties that effectively combat bacteria like salmonella and E. coli. 

Experts recommend mixing equal parts vinegar and water for maximum germ-fighting potency. This solution is perfect for:

  • Greasy stovetops
  • Microwaves
  • Coffee makers

However, vinegar may be too harsh for some acrylic bathtubs and sinks. For these areas, consider using a blend of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. 

Alternatively, you can buy non-toxic kitchen and bathroom cleaning products online, often made from ingredients like:

  • Citric acid
  • Coconut
  • Corn oil

3. Stick to glass or stainless steel containers.

Plastics are everywhere–used in everything from water bottles to food containers–and they’re very affordable. But they can release harmful chemicals into your food and drink.

This is especially true if you heat foods in the microwave in plastic containers. Instead, opt for safer alternatives like glass or ceramic dishes.

And consider replacing your plastic water bottle with glass or stainless steel. Glass not only makes sure no chemicals leach into your drink, but may also improve the taste of your water by preventing the absorption of flavors and odors from any liquid previously in the bottle. 

Stainless steel containers also help keep your beverages cold (or hot) for a longer period of time.

4. Buy organic foods.

If you want a chemical-free house, it’s important to also take into consideration the foods you bring into it–and prioritize buying and eating organic. Certified organic foods are free from:

  • Antibiotics
  • Growth hormones
  • Pesticides 

In recent years, organic options have become increasingly accessible, available in nearly every grocery store. If budgeting is an issue, you can find extensive organic selections at more affordable prices at:

  • Natural food co-ops
  • Farmers markets
  • Major retailers like Trader Joe’s 

However, organic foods are still, inevitably, more expensive than conventionally grown ones. If you can’t always afford the price tag, prioritize organic fruits and vegetables listed on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Dirty Dozen list

As of 2024, this list includes:

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Kale, collard, and mustard greens
  • Grapes
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Bell and hot peppers
  • Cherries
  • Blueberries
  • Green beans

Conventionally grown, these foods tend to have the highest amounts of pesticides–even after washing.

5. Use natural lawn treatments.

Thick, green grass is, of course, aesthetically pleasing. But if you use conventional pesticides and weed killers to keep your lawn looking beautiful, you may be compromising your family’s health.

Researchers have linked lawn pesticide exposure to serious health risks in both humans and animals. Studies reveal these chemicals lead to an increased likelihood of developing:

  • Nervous system disorders like Alzheimer’s disease
  • Reproductive issues, including infertility
  • Cancer

So choose natural, organic products to care for your lawn. You can find a number of lawn care companies that use natural, safe pesticides and herbicides. Or make your own using essential oils, or a mix of vinegar, salt, and liquid dish soap.

It’s extremely difficult to eliminate all toxins from your life. However, you do have the power to make impactful, positive changes. Incorporate these tips for a safer, more chemical-free household, and know that you’re taking a powerful step toward better health for you and your whole family.

References:

Raman imaging for the identification of Teflon microplastics and nanoplastics released from non-stick cookware – ScienceDirect

PTFE-coated non-stick cookware and toxicity concerns: a perspective

Exposure to perfluoroalkyl substances and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in a multiethnic cohort – JHEP Reports

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and incident diabetes in midlife women: the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) | Diabetologia

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) exposure and thyroid cancer risk – PMC

Current status of pesticide effects on environment, human health and it’s eco-friendly management as bioremediation: A comprehensive review;

Exposure Routes and Health Risks Associated with Pesticide Application – PMC

Safety evaluation and risk assessment of the herbicide Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, for humans

Toxic Effects of Glyphosate on the Nervous System: A Systematic Review – PMC

Glyphosate infiltrates the brain and increases pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα: implications for neurodegenerative disorders.

Glyphosate Herbicide: Reproductive Outcomes and Multigenerational Effects – PMC

Organic foods: health and environmental advantages and disadvantages

Health effects of sodium hypochlorite: review of published case reports – PMC

Antibacterial action of vinegar against food-borne pathogenic bacteria including Escherichia coli O157:H7

Assessment of Awareness Regarding Health Hazards of Plastic Chemicals and their Warning Label among a Sample Population of Varanasi City: A Cross-sectional Study – PMC

Author
Carrie Solomon

Carrie Solomon is a freelance health writer, web copywriter, and passionate wellness enthusiast. She’s on a mission to help wellness-focused companies everywhere educate, engage, and inspire their audiences to make the world a healthier, happier place. Learn more about her at copybycarrie.com or on LinkedIn.

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